The Speakers – @media2005

I have already given my account of the conference as a whole and thought I would write a bit more on some of the speakers and what I learnt from them.

Jeffrey Zeldman lived up to his name and gave an excellent keynote speech, filling me in on all the details of how and where web standards began and developed into what they are today. He also made me aware of a web development technique that I hadn’t heard of before, AJAX, but will be looking into from now on.

Joe Clark was a brilliant speaker, noted most for his minimalist slides (which actually enhanced the presentation as you became more involved in what he was saying and not in reading what he was going to say in a few minutes) and his frequent use of his newly learnt English swear words (sounding much better with an American accent). He was witty and obviously passionate and knowledgeable in what he was saying. His new idea about a ‘Zoom Layout’ was interesting and he suggested that we put it to use in our blogs to see it’s impact and how useful it might be.

I think Robin Christopherson‘s presentation was <put-foot-in-mouth>eye-opening<pfim> because I think many of us had not seen a visually impaired user actually using a screen reader or computer before. He showed us how frustrating badly labelled images can be when used in navigation and how useful labels on links are when used correctly.

Doug(las) Bowman showed us not only the Beauty of CSS, but how beautiful presentation slides made using S5 could be. I learnt that if you set a div with position:relative this will set up that div for a new area of positioning – any divs within it can be absolute positioned but will remain in the enclosing div. I am also highly embarrassed at asking for his autograph, but am chuffed that I have it!

Thanks to Patrick Griffiths for making @media2005 happen, and also for giving me a free Joe Clark book at the end of the 2nd evening – both were much appreciated.

Andy Budd gave a presentation on Tableless Design, something very much in the forefront of my mind at the moment as I am trying to get my Company to move over to total CSS layout. It didn’t so much teach new ideas, but reinforced the ones we already had – making it easier to make that leap for me. As I commented on his post, I did learn something that has frustrated me for ages and that is floating the ul to stop it collapsing when you’ve floated the li’s within it. Brilliant!

This last person is someone who seemed to have the greatest affect on the delegates at this conference. He managed to change the minds of 100% of the people I spoke to and they were all very excited by this change of direction. New discoveries in CSS seem to have plateaued recently and Jeremy Keith has spurred us on to what could be the next big area for innovation, JavaScript. It *is* good, and not at all evil! Yes, he has shown us the light and we all agree that it isn’t the old days of intertwingling browser sniffing and DOM filtering. It can sensibly be used in this new accessible and standards compliant age, this is definitely the way forward. Fantastic delivery and good examples.

Well done everyone – speakers/organisers and delegates!

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2 Responses to “The Speakers – @media2005”

  1. Jeremy Keith says:

    Wow! Thanks, Emma. Very kind of you. I’m really glad you liked the presentation.

    I agree that the whole event was pretty amazing. The presentations were great but that’s only part of it, isn’t it? It’s all the talking (and drinking) that goes on around the conference that really makes it fly.

    Roll on @media 2006!

  2. Ben Ward says:

    Well, It’s nice be able to read up on the first day everywhere on the web, it kinda fills in some of the blanks for me (I wasn’t there). Completely agree about Jeremy’s presentation. The way he demonstrated selecting DOM nodes using JavaScript alongside the equivalent CSS selection was inspired. It was the best way to get a new and/or misunderstood subject over to an audience of CSS developers. Brilliant.

    Oh, the only correction I’d offer is that I suspect Doug’s presentation was done using Keynote on the Mac, rather than S5 (though most of the speakers did use S5, I think). The super-slick transition effects are beyond the powers of a web browser ;)

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